Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 6
Three Indian military equipment making companies have made it to the list of top 100 global companies making arms, weapons, military planes and equipment.
The details were released on Monday morning by Swedish think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in its report ‘Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2020’.
The arms sales of Hindustan Aeronautics (ranked 42nd) and Bharat Electronics (ranked 66th) increased by 1.5 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively. Indian Ordnance Factories’ (ranked 60th) arms sales rose marginally (by 0.2 per cent) during 2020.
“Their aggregated arms sales of $6.5 billion (approx Rs 48,750 crore) were 1.7 per cent higher in 2020 than in 2019,” said the report, adding that “it accounted for 1.2 per cent of the Top 100’s total (sales)”.
Domestic procurement has helped to shield Indian companies against the negative economic consequences of the pandemic. In 2020, the Indian government announced a phased ban on imports of more than a hundred different types of military equipment to support domestic companies and enhance self-reliance in arms production.
China is second largest
China is now second to the US in making arms, weapons and military equipment.
The combined arms sales of the five Chinese companies included in the ranking (of top 100) amounted to an estimated $66.8 billion in 2020—1.5 per cent more than in 2019.
“With a 13 per cent share of total Top 100 arms sales, Chinese arms companies had the second highest volume of aggregated arms sales in 2020, behind US firms and ahead of British companies,” the report said.
The rise of China as a major arms producer has been driven by its aim to become more self-reliant in weapons production and by the implementation of ambitious modernisation programmes.
All five Chinese arms companies figure within the top 20, while three of these figure in the top 10 companies.
With estimated arms sales of $17.9 billion in 2020, NORINCO (ranked 7th) is China’s largest arms company and land systems specialist. NORINCO’s arms sales rose by 12 per cent in 2020, in part because the company deepened its involvement in emerging technologies and contributed to the development of the BeiDou military–civil navigation satellite system.
Estimated arms sales for AVIC (ranked 8th), China’s main military aircraft producer, declined by 1.4 per cent in 2020 to $17 billion. However, the decrease is probably due to exchange rate fluctuations, as its arms sales increased in nominal terms. The third Chinese company with arms sales high enough to rank in the top 10 was CETC (ranked 9th), the country’s leading producer of military electronics. At $14.6 billion, CETC’s arms sales fell by 6 per cent in 2020.
All Chinese companies in the Top 100 are state-owned enterprises producing both military and civilian products. Most of the revenue generated by these five companies is derived from civilian sales.
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